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UN Global Forum on Internet Governance

More than 200 leaders from government, business and civil society attended the Global Forum on Internet Governance, held on 25 and 26 March 2004 and organized by the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Task Force. The forum, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, was intended, according to a UN press release, "to contribute to worldwide consultations to prepare the ground to a future Working Group on Internet Governance to be established by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which is to report to the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (Tunis, 2005)". more

Papers Now Available Publicly for W3C/IAB "Strengthening the Internet" Workshop

Want to read a wide range of views on how to strengthen the security and privacy of the Internet? Interested to hear how some of the leaders of the open standards world think we can make the Internet more secure? As I wrote about previously here on CircleID, the W3C and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) are jointly sponsoring a workshop on "Strengthening The Internet" (STRINT) on February 28 and March 1 in London just prior to the IETF 89 meeting happening all next week. more

Internet Governance Outlook 2014: Good News, Bad News, No News?

What does the crystal ball say for the Internet in 2014? Here are three scenarios for what could happen with the global Internet Governance Eco-System in the coming 12 months... In the worst case scenario the Internet gets more and more fragmented and re-nationalized. A growing number of governments start to define a "national Internet segment" and develop policies to surveil, censor and control access to and use of the Internet. National firewalls will separate the "domestic Internet" from the global Internet and an exit and entrance regime into networks is introduced where users need passwords, handed out by governmental authorities on an annual basis, to go from one domain to another... more

MegaBust's MegaQuestions Cloud the Net's Future

Mid-January 2012 marked a major inflection point for digital copyright policy in the United States... Yet no one involved with Congressional interaction on either side of the issue believes it has been sidetracked for long, and "Hollywood" and "Silicon Valley" are both plotting their next moves in this high-stakes game to further define the responsibilities and potential liabilities... The resolution of this dispute will determine the ability of Internet services to move to "the cloud"... more

Invalid WHOIS Data: Who Is Responsible?

Suppose you wanted to know who operates a website at a given domain name. Perhaps you suspect that the domain name is pointing to a website that offers illegal content, or you may just want to send a comment to its authors. Conveniently, the Internet provides a so-called "WHOIS" system that ordinarily provides contact information for each registered domain. But in the case of many hundreds of thousands of domains, the WHOIS data just isn't accurate.  more

Whois Masking Considered Harmful

Whenever you register a domain name, your contact details are published in a publicly visible database called "Whois", where your contact details are instantly harvested by spambots and marketers who proceed to email and postal mail you marketing offers, deceptive "domain slamming" attempts, ads for dubious products, and perhaps even telemarketing calls. Nobody likes that, so over the years people started resorting to various tactics to protect themselves from the deluge of crap that inevitably comes with simply registering a domain name... more

If ICANN't Keep a Contract, Let the Public Enforce It

Earlier in the Registerfly controversy, ICANN Vice President Paul Levins posted to the ICANN Blog: "ICANN is not a regulator. We rely mainly on contract law. We do not condone in any way whatsoever RegisterFly's business practice and behaviour." This is disingenuous. ICANN is the central link in a web of contracts that regulate the business of domain name allocation. ICANN has committed, as a public benefit corporation, to enforcing those contracts in the public interest. Domain name registrants, among others, rely on those contracts to establish a secure, stable environment for domain name registration and through that for online content location. more

In Historic Vote on WHOIS Purpose, Reformers Win by 2/3 Majority

It has taken almost three years -- by some counts, more than 6 years -- but ICANN's domain name policy making organization has finally taken a stand on Whois and privacy. And the results were a decisive defeat for the copyright and trademark interests and the US government, and a stunning victory for advocates of the rights of individual domain name registrants... more

Confessions of an Ex-Opponent of Whois Privacy

The following is the easyDNS response to ICANN's public comment period on GNSO Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues Working Group Initial Report. The public comment period is open until July 7, 2015. We strongly urge you to make your voice known by signing the petition over at Save Domain Privacy. I submit these comments as a CEO of an ICANN accredited registrar, a former director to CIRA and a lifelong anti spam contributor with an unblemished record of running a managed DNS provider that maintains zero tolerance for net abuse or cybercrime... more

Conflict of Opinion

If a UDRP panelist believes domainers are the same thing as cybersquatters, is he fit to arbitrate? I came across an editorial on CNET today by Doug Isenberg, an attorney in Atlanta and founder of GigaLaw.com, and a domain name panelist for the World Intellectual Property Organization. The guest editorial focuses on Whois privacy and why it's imperative to maintain open access to registrant data for intellectual property and legal purposes. That's a common opinion I've read a million times. Nothing groundbreaking there. But then I was shocked to read that Isenberg generalizes domainers as cybersquatters: "Today, cybersquatters have rebranded themselves as 'domainers.' Popular blogs and news sites track their activities..." more

ICANN, WSIS and the Making of a Global Civil Society - Part III

For a book project I decided to extend my interview with Milton Mueller from November 2003 (Part I | Part II). Exclusively for CircleID readers, here's part III that deals with WSIS, WGIG, US-American bias and the Internet Governance Project. "...One good result of the WGIG process is that the involved international community has already moved beyond those cliches. No one is proposing that the UN control the Internet. There is growing consensus that control of the DNS root needs to be internationalized..." more

Why Do We Care About Names and Numbers?

An article based on the most recent study for the European Commission on the Policy Implications of Convergence in the Field of Naming, Numbering and Addressing written by Joe McNamee and Tiina Satuli of Political Intelligence.

"With relation to the Internet and also IP addresses, the "scarcity" is more complicated: there are not only intellectual property issues with regards to domain names, but there is also an issue of managing the integrity of the system. For any naming or numbering system to work, it is essential that the names and addresses used cannot be confused with any other -- in other words, no one system can have two end-points with the same fully qualified number or name..." more

Google AdSense Asks Publishers to Change Their Websites' Privacy Policy

I received an e-mail from Google Adsense about its new interest-based advertising feature. The latest feature of Google AdSense allows Google to track the behavior of users who click on ads on their AdSense network. It also allows Google users to 'select' their interests — this way they would view advertisements based on their category of interest…

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DNS WHOIS: Barking Up the Wrong Tree

As the Internet has grown and matured, it has become obvious to everyone involved that the DNS Whois system, as it currently exists, is not a sustainable way to share contact information for resolving network problems. ICANN, in an attempt to save DNS Whois, has plunged head long into the process of developing new policies aimed at fixing it. While I respect all of the hard work that has gone into this process, the results thus far have only made it clearer that this system faces intractable problems. more

Google Buzzkill

The launch of Google Buzz, the new social networking service tied to GMail, was a fiasco to say the least. Its default settings exposed people's e-mail contacts in frightening ways with serious privacy and human rights implications. Evgeny Morozov, who specializes in analyzing how authoritarian regimes use the Internet, put it bluntly last Friday in a blog post... more